In 2011, Rory Connaughton was asked to assist in the development of a product which would enhance the welfare of stabled equines by way of extending their eating time. He agreed to tackle this important issue and the Pacefeeder slow hay feeder was born. The problems of a limited feeding regime for stabled horses (when at large they graze between 16–18 hours a day) are well documented. He conducted extensive research and development around designing a product solution, which also needed to accommodate the inclined position of the equine’s head and neck whilst mimicking grazing. In addition, a simple mechanism was required and designed to prolong the period of availability of hay.
Five years on, the Pacefeeder is a product which responds to equines’ feeding habits and needs. It is robust, weatherproof, easy to use and simple to fit. Our product, the slow hay feeder, is manufactured in Co. Wicklow, Ireland.
Two corner models were launched at Tattersalls International Horse Trials in June 2015 (Pacefeeder is a registered design).
To-date, the Pacefeeder has been installed extensively across Ireland, the UK, France, Belgium, and Germany. It has also been successfully exhibited in Equus, Tattersalls, the National Ploughing Championships and the RDS-Dublin Horse Show. Customers have reported significant savings – no waste due to trampling/soiling – in excess of 20%. Taking note of customers’ feedback is part of a process for continuous improvement.
In 2021, Pacefeeder introduced the rectangular slow hay feeder. It has all the features of the corner unit, such as the bung and sub-floor, but now the main focus is the net grid.
In 2020, Pacefeeder collaborated with ScratchnAll, an American-based company, to bring the ScratchnAll pads to the Irish market as a distributor. These pads provide not only horses but a variety of animals, large and small, with safe relief from itching which can be problematic in stalls and barnyards.
For more information on ScratchnAll in America, just click here.
Superior ‘slow feed’ hay nets
In 2020, Pacefeeder introduced the Superior ‘slow feed’ hay nets as a cheaper alternative to the Pacefeeder, while still mimicking the horse’s natural grazing patterns. Owners can take an affordable first step on this path and also reduce boredom / stress for their horses, by keeping them occupied with the alternative slow hay feeder.
Below is a video demonstrating how the Pacefeeder works.